On a placenta note, pills backed
Placenta capsules could have their benefits if "correctly" manufactured, a Timaru health professional says.
A story in the Herald about placentas being turned into capsules has prompted mixed emotions, with some saying the idea of it made them feel ill.
Others said they had experienced its benefits first-hand and would take the pills again.
Women have been sending their placentas to Timaru woman Kirsty Ren for her to dry, grind down to powder and put in capsules.
Mrs Ren returns the capsules to their owner and sterilises the equipment for her next customer. She believes consuming placenta increases energy and milk supply and helps prevent post-natal depression.
Self-employed midwife Dianne Cox said her initial thoughts about the product was that, if it was made correctly, then it would possibly be a good thing for mothers to take.
However, she said it was not common practice among her clients.
"Most people don't even want to see their placenta."
However, she has heard that eating "a little bit" of placenta could control blood loss after birth.
She said placentas were rich in iron and other vitamins as a result of the crossover of maternal and foetal blood. As a result it also helped plant growth.
She has also heard of placentas being used for cosmetic products.
"When I was working in England in the 1980s, the cosmetic industry used to buy placentas, but that's never happened here, to my knowledge."
She said concerns about Aids, HIV and hepatitis, would mean recycling of placentas for consumption would have to be done "very carefully".
One woman, who left a comment on the Herald's story on stuff.co.nz, had her placenta turned into capsules.
She said there had been obvious benefits. She decided to have it done after suffering post-natal depression with her first child.
After her second pregnancy, the woman started taking the capsules and had no symptoms of post-natal depression.
"Running around after a toddler and dealing with a newborn, I had so much energy," the woman said.
"Some people say it may be a placebo effect but I'm convinced. They are a lifesaver and I would do it again with my next baby."
The Health Ministry would not comment on the use of placentas for consumption.
A spokesperson said because the placentas are returned to the women they came from it does not fall within the ministry's legislation.
- © Fairfax NZ News